Arsenal’s Premier League season hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Despite spending over £135 million last summer, their squad is full of holes.
This is not to mention the fact they’re sitting in 9th place in the table as well as having conceded 41 goals in just 31 games. On top of that, Mesut Ozil, their highest-paid player is barely making the matchday squad, let alone the starting line-up. To put it lightly, it’s an absolute mess.
However, in hiring Mikel Arteta, it appears the red half of north London has finally made a step in the right direction. Now with the upcoming transfer window, he might be able to do something about the horrifically unbalanced squad he inherited.
Without European football, it’s almost certain that the Gunners will be operating on a small budget.
A new centre-back however, is an absolute must. Sokratis is serviceable, and Pablo Mari looks ok, but David Luiz and Rob Holding simply aren’t good enough for the Gunners.
Names such as Dayot Upamecano have been linked, but bigger clubs, with bigger wallets, will also be looking for players such as him. Therefore, Mikel Arteta is probably going to have to take a risk.
Now Thiago Silva is on his way out of Paris Saint Germain he’d be the perfect place to start. At 35, he may not be the player he was, but he’s still an experienced defensive leader. He’d bring the leadership and organisation the club has desperately needed for years. What’s more, in David Luiz and Pablo Mari he’d have fellow countrymen to help him settle in North London.
In midfield, there is a similar problem. Granit Xhaka passes the ball well, and is a determined defender, but doesn’t have the dynamism to act as a defensive screen. This is where rumoured target Thomas Partey comes in.
The Ghanaian would provide the defensive platform and work rate Arsenal’s midfield needs. Operating in a double pivot would suit him as well, leaving Arsenal to play the likes of Bukayo Saka further forward.
Bringing in the 27-year-old would bring much-needed balance to the Arsenal midfield. It did look for some time that Lucas Torreira might be able to add that solidity in the centre of the park but he has flattered to deceive.
Another bonus for the transfer is that Partey is reportedly available for just £43 million.
Now, these transfers would not solve all of Arsenal’s problems. However, given the scale of the required rebuild, all the required reinforcements can’t be brought in in a single window. However, for just £43 million in fees, the Gunners would be able to rely on far greater defensive solidity.
From there Arteta can build to getting the Gunners where they need to be; back at the top.